The Yen is currently fairly weak, so Japan is not as expensive as in the past, but still much more expensive than other Asian countries.
Hokkaido is Japan’s furthest-flug extremity and has almost mythical status amongst urban Japanese as a wild frontier.
Sights and activities
- Japan has excellent Word Class skiing and snowboarding.
- Bath in the hot springs while snow lies around
When to go
May to September are the summer months, although rain is always possible. November through to April sees icy winds and heavy snow dumps, so perfect for skiing.
Train services are fast, spotless and punctual to the second. Trains are easy to use despite the Japanese characters, and people are always eager to help.
Food and drink
Eating is one of the great pleasures in Japan. For the astonishing variety of creatures and favours as well as the actual ritual. Hokkaido’s cuisine is fuller and heartier than in the south. Thick ramen noodles with beef or pork are filling. Crab, octopus and giant prawns fresh from the Sea of Japan are served in big portions.
Breakfast is often a meal of a raw egg cracked over rice, salty fish broth and fermented soya beans, which some Westerners find a little too much first thing in the morning.
The Japanese Yen is currently weak, so whilst things are more expensive than other Asian countries, costs are probably less than you think.
- Good mean including drinks – US$26
- Bottle of beer – US$3.50
- Bottle of water – US$2
- Cup of coffee – US$3
Health and safety
Japan is one of the safest countries you will ever visit, from both a security and a health point of view. However, be aware of the earthquake procedures publicized by hotel.
|Capital||Tokya (Japan), Sapporo (Hokkaido)|
|Population||127 million (Japan), 6 million (Hokkaido)|
|Viasas||Most visitors do not require visas|
|Money||Yen, about 460 Yen to the US$|
- www.seejapan.co.uk – Japanese National Tourist Organization.